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Sorry - a reading question

(24 Posts)
princessglitter Tue 04-Oct-11 17:06:45

dd is in year 1 and a confident reader. She can read words such as 'reflection' easily and is capable of reading Roald Dahl at home. School have sent her home with a list of words to practise (coat, jail, feed) in order to practise phonics. Dd already knows her phonics and can not only read the words, she can spell them.

She has also been sent home with two reading books she read last year. I put a polite request in her diary asking if it was possible for her to change the books for a new one and got back a generic letter to all parents, saying that Year 1 may be given books they have already read to practise their blending and segmenting.

dd reads fluently and was word perfect the first time we got the book. She has good comprehension skills too. Just feel that school are treating all children the same, regardless of whether they can read well or not. dd tells me they spend lots of time in class practising tricky words like 'was.' I feel a bit fed up - I don't want to be pushy, but surely this is a recipe for dd to get very bored if she has to keep reading the same books that she can read perfectly already? Books only get changed once a week as it is.

Last year dd was at a prep which put her up a year for reading and really challenged her, so am really noticing the difference at this school. It is an outstanding school that we were on a waiting list for, but I just don't feel very happy so far.

princessglitter Tue 04-Oct-11 17:57:07

Any thoughts? Should I relax about this or is it worth raising with school?

virgiltracey Tue 04-Oct-11 18:12:51

personally I would raise it with the school but then I'm quite pushy grin. IMO a good school should be able to differentiate the work for the children. The last thing you want is your child getting bored. If all else fails then personally I'd be doing stretch stuff with her at home but I'm sure someone will be along to say that I'm wrong!

twotesttickles Tue 04-Oct-11 18:17:52

It's only October smile

I would suggest you speak to the teacher and say 'can she have some extension reading work' rather than my child is smarter than these dolts please help her

princessglitter Tue 04-Oct-11 18:30:02

I was thinking of joining reading chest for some extra scheme books. Can anyone recommend it? We go to the library lots and dd is almost on white band so can read most books, so don't know if reading chest is worth the money?

You're right twotes, it is only October and the teacher is still getting to know the children.

I have a parents' eve in a couple of weeks, so think I will ask for some extension work. Get the impression they view differentiation as a nuisance rather than a necessity.

lovingthepeaceandquiet Tue 04-Oct-11 18:56:46

By all means raise your concerns with her teacher but I don't think there is any need to join Reading Chest smile. At her level, she won't get any extra benefit from reading more scheme books than if she read books from home/the library.

You just need to check that any content is suitable for her emotional age and obviously check her understanding.

MyCatHasStaff Tue 04-Oct-11 19:11:26

Differentiation is a requirement in all schools. Words like 'was' are described as 'difficult' because they don't follow the phonics rules, so have to be learned rather than de-coded. It's great that your dd is doing so well, but it's worth remembering that any reading is beneficial, in the long term it doesn't matter if she's reading books from the library or from school, as long as she continues to enjoy reading. Being able to read and understand a book easily gives the child a sense of achievement and that is important in their reading development too.

festi Tue 04-Oct-11 19:18:16

I would request the next set of words or spellings and I would be quite persistant with that. The reading book I would be less persistant with and make up for that at home.

I have similar issue with my dd same age etc. she has done the spellings list and is now randomly picking out the spellings she did not ger first go, before I request next ones, I was even considering getting her to write scentences with them before asking for the next lot as I know her teacher will be reluctant so at least I can say we have done them well and truely.

princessglitter Tue 04-Oct-11 19:27:37

I know that 'was' doesn't follow the phonic rules, but dd can read pretty much anything, so I just imagine her sitting there not really learning anything in those sessions. She came home with a sticker for reading the word 'more' the other day. This is a child who can read words like 'speciality' 'international' and 'ancient.' She is just a normal 5 year old, who happens to love reading and be quite good at it, I would just like school to stimulate her rather than feel I have to do it all myself.

AllTheGoodNamesTaken Tue 04-Oct-11 19:30:13

I recommend reading chest. Very good service, exactly what my DS1 needed.

CecilyP Tue 04-Oct-11 19:43:51

I would have a word with the teacher because she seems to have absolutely no idea what your DD can do. (Which isn't really surprising as it is early in the term and your DD has just come from another school). There doesn't seem much point in bothering with the books sent home from school, if your DD can read Roald Dahl, you'll find an abundance of books for young, fairly fluent readers in the library. I doubt if she needs stretching so much as simply not having to continually cover old ground.

MyCatHasStaff Tue 04-Oct-11 19:49:44

Have a chat with the teacher, and follow your instincts. If it seems they really are reluctant to work with you to do the best for your dd, it's not a good sign. Differentiation is essential, particularly in younger classes where the ability levels span a wide range. If, having spoken to the teacher, you are still not happy, see the head to guage where s/he stands on this.

spottypancake Tue 04-Oct-11 19:57:17

I would leave the school to it and get a reading chest subscription.

olibeansmummy Tue 04-Oct-11 20:17:34

That reading chest looks expensive! If she's already reading Roald Dahl etc, get on amazon or redhouse or even e bay/ charity shops for second hand books and let her choose. You'll get a lot more for your money and your dd can keep them to read again ( and they'll be much more exciting than flaming biff and chip so she'll WANT to read them again). Forget reading schemes and go for longer, exciting, age appropriate novels. She'll enjoy reading so much more that way!

Wafflenose Tue 04-Oct-11 20:57:52

We've had the exact some issue with our DD, who is in Year 1. After getting nowhere with asking for more appropriate books during Reception, we joined Reading Chest and have found it really good. We've made sure that we've requested books she's unlikely to encounter at school. Will probably stop it soon, as she can read level 10/11 and is whizzing through loads of shortish chapter books (60-80 pages), Dr Seuss, picture books designed to be shared (although we still do read to her) and things like Fantastic Mr Fox, which she read in the summer holidays. At school, she reads Turquoise level with some Year 2 friends, and I know she gets a lot out of it - group discussion, looking at punctuation, unusual spellings, rhyming patterns etc so as long as she's also reading what she wants to read, it doesn't really matter if it's a bit easy. If your DD is a similar sort of level, which it sounds like she is, I'd probably just go to the library lots and let her pick what she likes. Mine has decided she loves non-fiction, and it's a good way to explore other interests too. I'd probably wait until parents' evening if you want to talk to the teacher. They haven't been back at school that long.

wearymum200 Tue 04-Oct-11 21:48:14

I am in a similar place with ds1, agree that reading chest not helpful at this stage. (Cancelled our subscription in may when he'd clearly read himself off the top of it).
Just as an aside, how do you persuade fluent readers to want to read aloud?

Lougle Tue 04-Oct-11 22:09:13

Is 'was' really a YR1 word? DD2 is in week 4 of reception and was sent home 'was' to learn yesterday hmm

festi Tue 04-Oct-11 22:17:14

lougle they tend to learn to read was in yrR and spell was in yr1. there is a large gap in ability from r to 1 so i think some children develop at a faster pace than others with literacy in the foundation stage. also they do in the first term cover some familiar things for the new teacher to see what dcs can do.

festi Tue 04-Oct-11 22:19:22

wearymum, I get my dd to read alternate pages aloud but just dont record that grin

Lougle Tue 04-Oct-11 22:59:05

Thanks for the reply, festi - it's good to see the distinction.

festi Wed 05-Oct-11 00:37:38

my dd could spell "was" as soon as she could read "was" others are just getting to grips with reading "was" in y1. its not easy to bench mark so early.

some children are just reading "was" and others are on gold band in y1. it must be difficult for the teacher

iggly2 Wed 05-Oct-11 01:56:18

Home reading books and spellings for homework I just do and then set my own grin. I do not both the teacher. Reading books maybe chosen for group reading so children can get a lot out of discussion. You say some books are repeats but also she was at a different school last year -so maybe the teacher does not realise.

princessglitter Wed 05-Oct-11 07:13:38

She joined this school in May and the repeat book is one she read in June at this school, so I really don't see why she needs to read it again.

blackeyedsusan Wed 05-Oct-11 07:39:06

reading chest will not be worth the money. there are a lot of books in the library that she will be able to read. a lot of the picture books will be somewhere around purple/gold/white. can she tell the story back to you? can she tell you what the characters are feeling and why? camn she tell you what she thinks will happen next. does she read non fiction books, use the contents page and index? can you set her a simple quiz from some non fiction books? does she read poetry? which are her favourites? all useful stuff to do at home when reading.

with the spellings/words to learn, look for words with the same pattern, or alternative ways to write the same sounds (or/aw/au/ore/oor etc). phonics is useful for spelling too.

talk about the tricky bits in words. eg a says o after w (want/swan/was) s says z on its own at the end of a word.

is there a reading diary that you can record how she read the book in or that she can also spell the words. (not that that worked for me, but it did make me feel better knowing that I wasn't just dropping it) why not collect a list of spellings that follow the same pattern and write in reading diary/on paper and leave in the book bag.

use parents evening to find out how they are differentiating the work and plan your strategy from there.

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